Baba Ghanouj: Bixby’s Amazing Answer to the Middle Eastern Trend
2011-08-31 · By Chandra Clewley
There are plenty of Middle Eastern eateries in Long Beach. For the most part, they seem to all pop up near the beach area of town, and the waits to get into these restaurants can sometimes be unbearable. The fact of the matter though, is that one of the best, if not THE best, Lebanese restaurant in Long Beach sits far away from Second Street. Baba Ghanouj sits in the artsy hip strip of Atlantic Ave that closes down for First Friday’s, in Bixby Knolls.
The walls have floral murals, the red tablecloths and the lighting lends to the yellow glow in the restaurant. I have eaten here a handful of times, and it is typically quiet and easy to get a seat.
Once seated, we decided to start with the order of hummus; the sautéed potatoes which are tossed in tahini, garlic, lemon, chili powder and cilantro; and the Karnabeet which is fried cauliflower accompanied with tahini sauce. All three of these dishes are excellent, and addicting. The hummus is smooth and rich, and the tahini sauce is made with just a hint of cinnamon.
For our main meal, we ordered Chicken Shawarma, a Fatouch Salad and Beef Shish Kabobs. The chicken was tender and flavorful without being too saucy. The salad is fresh, with big chunks of cucumber and tomato, fresh mint leaves, crunchy pita chips for texture and an amazing sumac and garlic dressing. The shish kabobs are made from a filet mignon cut so they are tender, rich, and perfectly cooked with delicious roasted red peppers.
After dinner we decided to order the Turkish Coffee which like always was strong with hints of jasmine and rose.
On the first Friday of the month, Atlantic Ave closes down for an art walk and fair with tons of fun things to check out. This would be a great time to visit Baba Ghanouj, but if you are looking for a quieter experience, this is definitely a wonderful date venue for privacy and lowered voices! For more information, check out the website at http://www.babaghanoujrestaurant.com/